“First there is the love of the child. Second, the love of teaching the child. And third, the love of the music being taught to the child. But the child always comes first.” Dr. Suzuki
What is Musical Literacy?
 
Think about taking a spelling test in school.  The student needs to be able to
  1. Study written words.
  2. Hear the words the teacher calls out loud.
  3. Write the words, from the spoken words, and spell them accurately.

To do this, a student needs to be able to
  1. Use the eyes to see and study the words.
  2. Use the ears to hear the words.
  3. Take the sounds of the words, decode them, and accurately write or type them.

The same is true with music.  To be able to function as musicians, we need to
  1. Train the eyes to read music, by seeing its patterns and mathematical basis.
  2. Train the ears to hear and understand music.
  3. Train the mind to take what it hears, and turn it into written music.

When we can Read, Hear, and Write music, we are developing Musical Literacy.  

Musical Literacy is so much more than just learning how to play a piece of music!  With Musical Literacy, we can
  • Understand music.  (Recognize pattern, form, and function.  This is like having x-ray vision of music, to see its anatomy and how it is put together.)
  • "Speak" music by playing it on a piano or other instrument — even if we have never seen the written music, and even if we are hearing it for the first time.  (Play by ear)
  • "Read aloud" by playing music that has been written or printed.  (Read music)
  • Move music up or down in pitch, to make it easier to sing or play.  (Transpose)
  • Change music, give it a new style, change its color or texture, play with it.  (Improvise)
  • Write or type music that we hear someone performing.  (Transcribe)
  • Create our own music, music the world has never heard before!  (Compose!)

Imagine being able to do all this with music.  This is what we teach at the Lichtenstein Piano & Voice School.  True Musical Literacy.  True musical ability.  True musical Joy!